Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral trade movements along border ‘now normal’

Bilateral trade dropped in last decade as countries accused each other of providing safe haven to terrorists

ISLAMABAD (AA) – Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said the situation along the Afghan border is currently “normal,” while on Tuesday, over 800 trucks entered Afghanistan from Pakistan.

On Thursday, Shehryar Afridi, the chairman of Pakistan’s Kashmir committee, tweeted on Thursday, saying peace will be the “new normal” in the region, and added: “Connectivity, Trade & prosperity is way forward.”

According to official data of Pakistan’s customs, the number of trucks moving across the border reached 1,123 on Wednesday from 475 earlier on Aug. 15, local daily Dawn reported.

Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral trade volume saw a relative rise during the past few days after the Taliban took over the control of the Afghan capital Kabul and areas bordering Pakistan, the report added.

According to customs officials, one reason behind the past slowdown in the cargo movement was Afghan officials at borders demanding from drivers to pay 10,000-25,000 Afghanis ($116-$290) to let their trucks return to Pakistan.

The bilateral trade volume dropped during the last decade, from $1.5-$2 billion to $754 million in 2020, due to tense relations between former Kabul governments and Islamabad as they accused each other of providing safe haven to terrorists.

But it slightly increased in the April-July period this year to $869 million after Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Kabul last November, according to the Commerce Ministry data.


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